A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Delaware and Yeshiva University, has developed a new catalyst that could make ethanol-powered fuel cells feasible . Made of platinum and rhodium atoms on carbon-supported tin dioxide nanoparticles, the research team's electrocatalyst is capable of breaking carbon bonds at room temperature and efficiently oxidizing ethanol into carbon dioxide as the main reaction product.
An award-winning scheme which will reduce the carbon footprint of the whisky industry on Speyside has moved a step closer after being granted planning permission by Moray Council. The CHP unit will use a combination of distillery co-products and wood chip from sustainable sources to generate 7.2 megawatts of electricity, enough for 9,000 homes, which can be used onsite or exported to the National Grid.
Project Nova (Novel Offshore Vertical-Axis), to which Qinetiq is a key technology supplier, was given the go ahead on 13 January 2009 by Lord Hunt, the UK Minister for Sustainable Development and Energy Innovation, as part of a potential £1.1billion fund. Project Nova's innovative aerogenerator wind turbine is based on a pair of giant V-shaped composite wings that will be scaled up to 120m high and rotate around the central axis to create power. Invented by David Sharpe and developed by Wind Power Limited, the aim is for a large-scale demonstrator to be installed offshore within six years and for offshore vertical-axis turbines to provide 1GW of power by 2020.
Today, Barack was inaugurated President of the United States of America. Many of his dreams fall on the renewable energy industry to fulfill. In his words "For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do."
The first full-scale Neptune tidal stream device is the design of Edinburgh's Aquamarine Power Ltd. The 2.4MW Neptune demonstration design is on schedule for delivery in 2010 at the UK tidal test centre, known as the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), located in Orkney, as a precursor to commercial deployment. The device comprises two horizontal axis tidal turbines, which will be mounted on a single monopile for the commercial demonstrator. The device features bi-directional (flood and ebb) generation, with its design heavily influenced by wind turbine technology and as such gives predicted efficiencies of up to 45 per cent.
In spite of the weakened economic conditions in countries around the world, electric power utilities are proceeding with investments in both their infrastructure and "smart grid" automation programs according to a study released by the Newton-Evans Research Co. Newton-Evans found that a majority of the 110+ officials from 38 countries participating in the just-completed study indicated that capital spending for control systems, substation automation, smart grid related programs, distribution management, advanced metering rollouts, and infrastructure equipment for transmission and distribution grids will remain as originally projected a year ago.
It looks like a giant funhouse mirror. But the big new dish atop South Table Mountain could be a renewable energy breakthrough that helps make concentrated solar power more affordable and appealing to utilities and their customers. For the next several months, NREL engineers will be testing the performance of SkyTrough , an innovative parabolic trough that is coated with a gleaming reflective skin instead of mirrored glass. Parabolic-trough systems concentrate the sun's energy through long U-shaped mirrors. The mirrors are tilted toward the sun, focusing sunlight on a vacuum pipe that runs down the center of the trough.
The use of solar technology for the production of energy is becoming more important as we strive to become less dependent upon diminishing supplies of fossil fuels. As the production levels of solar cells increase so too does the use of lasers. The attributes of non-contact processing, flexible beam delivery and precise control make the laser the ideal tool for processing these fragile components. With a number of different micro-machining processes to be performed during the production of mono and polycrystalline solar cells, it is essential that the most appropriate laser source is used .
Concentrator cells have been reaching increasingly impressive efficiencies, inspiring new interest in the high-efficiency, high-concentration approach. Currently, the record efficiency is 40.7 percent for a three-junction GaInP / GaInAs / Ge cell. From JX Crystals' perspective, its president Dr. Lewis M. Fraas sees the LCPV approach as fast to market with minimal risk. 'It is a simpler approach to understnd in terms of reliability and O&M because it is evolutionary from the traditional planar silicon module. Because of its simplicity, LCPV may be more suited to commercial building flat rooftops,' he recently told CPVToday.com in an interview.
The vision of the smart home has been around for decades. And an appealing vision it is - a computerized triumph of automation, controlling a house's lighting and heating, even the kitchen. Yet it has not yet caught on. What is needed is a "killer app" - a compelling use - and some government encouragement, according to Tim Woods, a partner in the consulting firm Poco Labs and an expert in smart home technology. The killer app, Mr. Woods said, will be energy efficiency .
Owl Power Company has announced Vegawatt , an innovative new cogeneration system for restaurants and food service facilities. Vegawatt uses waste vegetable oil from any food service operation as a fuel to generate on-site electricity and hot water, saving the restaurant thousands of dollars as well as providing a clean, renewable source of energy. Any food service location with fryers can use the Vegawatt system to save $800 monthly. It is a fully automated system that requires no intervention or maintenance by restaurant staff, no additional chemicals, and produces no liquid byproducts.
Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy in San Diego, just took the wraps off a 10-megawatt solar farm in Nevada. That's small by industry standards, enough to light just 6,400 homes. But the ramifications are potentially huge. A veteran analyst has calculated that the facility can produce power at a cost of 7.5 cents a kilowatt-hour, less than the 9-cent benchmark for conventional electricity. If that's so, it marks a milestone that renewable fans have longed for: "grid parity," in which electricity from the sun, wind or other green sources can meet or beat the price performance of such carbon-based fuels as coal and natural gas. Original LA Times story.
The engineering company CH2M Hill is now joining hands with the U.S. Department of Energy to provide Internet solar maps of 25 American cities, using Google Earth technology to chart the precise solar potential of neighborhoods, literally rooftop by rooftop. The company has just finished mapping all of San Francisco, allowing residents to enter their address and take the solar measure of their own home. "People in San Francisco think we don't have any solar potential,' says Gavin Newsom, the city's deep-green mayor. "But the map shows we have a lot more sun than you'd believe." Time Magazine Source.
From Wired Science - Green technology was hot in 2008. Barack Obama won the presidential election promising green jobs to Rust Belt workers. Investors poured $5 billion into the sector just through the first nine months of the year. And even Texas oilmen like T. Boone Pickens started pushing alternative energy as a replacement for fossil fuels like petroleum, coal and natural gas. Green technology and its attendant infrastructure are probably the best bet to drag the American economy out of the doldrums. So, with the optimism endemic to the Silicon Valley region, we present you with the Top 10 Green Tech Breakthroughs of 2008, alternatively titled, The Great Green Hope.
Without a radically expanded and smarter electrical grid, wind and solar will remain niche power sources. To make use of clean energy, we'll need more transmission lines that can transport power from one region to another and connect energy-hungry cities with the remote areas where much of our renewable power is likely to be generated. We'll also need far smarter controls throughout the distribution system--technologies that can store extra electricity from wind farms in the batteries of plug-in hybrid cars, for example, or remotely turn power-hungry appliances on and off as the energy supply rises and falls. Watch a demonstration of General Electric's software system for the grid or read more in the MIT Technology Review
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